Technically these empanadas are appetizers, but I wanted to make them for dinner so we just both ate a bunch of them. While they are not difficult to make, they are very time consuming. Making the empanada dough took awhile. You may notice in the photo that the dough is reddish-colored. In the photo from Cooking Light, where the recipe was originally published, their empanadas were very pale and whitish. I think that means that our Penzeys Medium-Hot Chili Powder is so super awesome that it dyed the dough red. So that was pretty cool. The empanadas were a little tough, similar to the dough from the Sweet Potato Samosas we made awhile back. But they were really good and we really liked them a lot. They are a definite make-again!
Note: If you can't find masa harina, you can use substitute cornmeal. I found masa harina in the international foods aisle in the grocery store, by all the Goya brand items.
Corn and Poblano Empanadas
Masa harina--used to make corn tortillas and tamales--yields a more richly flavored and textured dough than that made with flour alone.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup masa harina
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 poblano peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 500°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, masa harina, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and chili powder in a food processor; pulse 3 times. Add water and butter; pulse until mixture forms a loose ball. Remove from processor; knead until ball completely forms. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each dough portion into a ball; flatten each ball into a 3-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Cover and chill 30 minutes. (Stack dough portions between pieces of wax paper.)
Place poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 500° for 20 minutes or until brown and blistered, turning once. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel poblanos; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes, and finely chop. Place in a medium bowl.
Reduce oven temperature to 425°.
Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; sauté 3 minutes. Add to poblanos; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cheese.
Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle. Working with 1 circle at a time (cover remaining circles with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon 3 level tablespoons corn filling into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with water; fold dough over filling. Press edges together with a fork or fingers to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Lightly coat tops of empanadas with egg mixture. Pierce top of dough with a fork. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: 8 servings